Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You Gotta Be Shitting Me: Tom Cruise as "Jack Reacher"?

I saw this commercial last night and thought: Seriously? Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher??

(The commercial's been yanked, so here's the trailer)

If you've read any of the books, you'll know this: Jack Reacher is a seriously big guy. He's 6'5", weighs in at 250lbs and has a 50 inch chest. Reacher's face is plain to the point of being nearly ugly.

Tom Cruise is ten inches shorter (even when he's wearing heels lifts), probably a hundred pounds lighter and a hell of a lot prettier. Compared to the Jack Reacher of the books, Cruise should be wearing curled-toed shoes and singing about being in the Lollipop Guild. He has to be close to the worst possible actor to take on the role. It'd be like filming the story of the RMS Titanic by using a forty-foot Chris-Craft to stand in for the ship.

Reacher is big enough to have deliberately taken a .38 Special slug in the chest and then beaten the shooter to death. You could probably drop Tom Cruise with a single shot to the chest from a .25 ACP.*

Even Ashton Kucher would be better, for at least he's reasonably tall. Jack Reacher doesn't exactly have a wide emotional range; there are at least half-a-dozen guys in the WWF who, with a little bit of acting training, could pull it off.** There are at least two or three times that many in the NFL. About the only way to cast the role of Jack Reacher worse would be to have Katherine Heigl play the part.***

I'm not a big fan of the Jack Reacher series. After a few, they seemed to be cookie-cutter books that can be read the same way as a Louis L'Amour western: Read the first chapter, the last chapter and five random pages inbetween.

But I don't see how a Reacher fan could watch this movie without either laughing uproariously or stalking out in seething anger.
* As Jeff Cooper supposedly said about having a .25: "Don't load it. If you load it, you might shoot it, and if you shoot it, you might hit someone. If you hit someone, they will be very, very mad at you."
** They already know how to act a litle.
*** Heigl could probably handle the emotional range. Maybe.


LRod said...

Well, I have to say, years ago when Master and Commander was being cast, there was quite the uproar on the Patrick O'Brian fora over the selection of Russell Crowe to play Captain Jack Aubrey. Apparently a lot of people don't care for Russell Crowe.

As it turned out, to any fan of the Aubrey/Maturin canon, Crowe was Jack Aubrey in that film. He played him just like O'Brian wrote him.

Now, I'm no big fan of Tom Cruise (although I liked him in both Top Gun and A Few Good Men), but I think it's probably at least fair to see what he brings to the Reacher character.

I agree he doesn't fit my image of Reacher, but then I didn't think Harrison Ford was Jack Ryan, either, but he wound up doing a credible job of him.

And although we were skeptical about what Brad Pitt could bring to Burn After Reading upon seeing his name on the marquee, we were blown away with his performance.

I agree that a couple of Child books is enough to give you the flavor. That's the difference between a garden variety commercial author and a brilliant author.

Being a former squid I wonder if you'd like the Aubrey/Maturin books. There's a lot of sailing and seamanship in them, although not a boiler in sight.

ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired

Comrade Misfit said...

I saw Burn After Reading. It's a fair description of what should have been done to the script.

Comrade Misfit said...

As for the other thing, I don't know shit about sailing square-rigged or whatever rigs those ships were. Did take some kind of balls to get in there a couple of hundred yards apart and exchange broadsides of 32lb shot...

LRod said...

Mostly square rigged (with all the variations—ship, bark, brig, etc.) but a xebec or two (lateen rigged and a great crossword puzzle word) as well as sloops and schooners (fore-and-aft sails) scattered about. But yes, mostly square rigged—and balls and shot of steel.

montag said...

I suspect you could drop Tom Cruise with a .22 short.

Alan Simpson said...

Nick Nolte would have made a good REACHER. Cruise not so much.

Comrade Misfit said...

Alex Karras, Robert Ulrich. Vladimir Kulich (Buliwyf in the 13th Warrior) would have been great for the part if he was 15 years younger.

This smacks of a vanity project, in the same way that Katherine Heigl screwed up One For the Money by miscasting herself in the lead.

Nangleator said...

I liked the Spenser novels, and was fairly disappointed by Robert Ulrich as Spenser. The novels were sparse on details, but I wanted a bigger, less handsome guy with a much more dry delivery.

This is just silly, though, and I don't even know the books.

Comrade Misfit said...

I think they used iron shot. Steel was hard to make and expensive until the invention of the Bessemer process about the same time as wooden fighting ships became obsolete.

Unknown said...

I mumbled to myself in the theater for 10 minutes after I saw the preview. No way can Tom Cruise ever be Jack Reacher! I can only assume he has money in the project, because no self respecting casting director could ever have even considered him for this role.

Comrade Misfit said...

Cruise is listed as one of the producers. One of the production companies is TC Productions, which is his company. This smells like a vanity production.

Improbable Joe said...

What a load of suck. Jack Reacher isn't exactly a deeply-drawn character, his physicality is a big part of the description. Part of the point of the books is that he can and does sort of bulldoze his way through situations because he can, and we believe it because he's enormous. I don't care how skillful someone's chop-socky skills are in a movie, when they are shorter than the female lead even wearing lifts, it is hard to take them seriously in the situations that define the Reacher books.

Total vanity project.

Doug Alder said...

I refuse to go to any movie he's in or watch anything he's in on TV - it's not his acting but his cult. Every dollar he earns means more exposure and money for Scientology. If people stopped watching anything he was in his career and influence over impressionable youth would eventually end.

LRod said...

Poetic license. You'd brought up the balls, and "balls of iron" isn't the common metaphor, so I stretched it, firing for effect, if you will.

OldRetiredDude said...

Worst casting decision ever, period. I am a fan of Lee Childs books, but I will never pay money to watch Tom Cruise in any movie.

The New York Crank said...

There's a mystery author named Lawrence Block who has a series of books about an intellectual white burglar named Bernie Rhodenbarr. (I'm not sure of the spelling.) Anyway, Hollywood bought the rights and made a movie called Burglars. And you know who played Bernie? Whoopi Goldberg. Now there's a casting decision from outer space.

Very Crankily Yours,
The New York Crank

BadTux said...

The Jack Reacher books are formulatic, but well written within that formula. Mind candy, mostly, something to waste an afternoon with when you have nothing better to do, but more along the lines of trail mix than ho-hos on the candy scale (i.e., a *little* redeeming value, not just totally worthless). But Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher? Uhm... no. I'll just read the books, thank you very much.